25 April 2023
La Cinef competition of student films at Cannes Film Festival (May 16-27, 2023) will welcome two short films from the Czech Republic. Electra is a long-awaited film by director Daria Kashcheeva, who celebrated success with her previous Oscar-nominated animation Daughter. In her new film, Kashcheeva is using fantasy world of her main character to play with the animation techniques. Director Petr Pylypčuk made a fiction short Eighth Day about a rebellious girl, who decides to run away from the religious sect in which she has spent her whole life. Both films were made at Prague's FAMU - Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts.
The main character of Daria Kashcheeva's new animated short film Electra is a young woman of the same name, who rethinks her 10th birthday, mixing memories with dreams and hidden fantasies. Isolated in her fantasy world, she builds up her own relationships with her body and sexuality. Electra has to go through the most painful memories to let her suppressed feelings come out. In the end, she is ready to reveal what has really happened during her 10th birthday.
The film was produced by Czech outlet MAUR film (Zuzana Křivková and Martin Vandas) in co-production with Prague's FAMU - Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts, Slovak Artichoke and French Papy3D Productions. The Czech Film Fund supported the film for both development and production, with the full amount of EUR 155 000. World sales and festivals are handled by Miyu Distribution.
Following its world premiere in Cannes, Electra will be presented also in Annecy, which is a special place for Daria Kashcheeva. Her previous short film Daughter was honored there with two awards - Junior Jury Award for a Graduation Film and Cristal for a Graduation Film in 2019, which lead to hundreds of festival screenings and shower of awards from all over the world. Furthermore, Daughter brought Kashcheeva a Student Oscar and eventually also a nomination for an Oscar in Best Animated Short category.
In the second Czech representative at La Cinef, Eighth Day, director Petr Pylypčuk tells a story of teenagers Anna and Josef, who have grown up in a strict religious sect. When the whole group gathers by a forest lake to perform a baptism, Anna and Josef decide to run away. They disappear into the forest, but soon find out that they are totally unprepared for the life outside the borders of their community.
The film was produced by Kryštof Burda and Tomáš Pertold of Perfilm, in co-production with FAMU and Czech Television. The Czech Film Fund supported it in the production scheme with EUR 17 600.
Czech student films have been presented regularly at La Cinef, formerly known as Cinéfondation, since its inception in 1998. The animated folk horror Red Shoes directed by Anna Podskalská world-premiered in this section in 2021, Ondřej Erban's social drama One Hundred and Twenty-Eight Thousand was part of the selection in 2019, Michal Blaško's Atlantis, 2003 in 2017 and Retriever by Tomáš Metra and Tomáš Klein, who is readying his first feature A Sensitive Person at the moment, was screened there in 2015.
It is also not the first time, when two Czech films appear in the section - in 2013 the animated Pandas by Matúš Vizár screened there together with Eliška Chytková's Ham Story and in 2005, it was Slavek the Shit by Grímur Hákonarson, who was studying at Prague's FAMU at that time, and Conscience by Jan Bohuslav. Moreover, Zuzana Kirchnerová took home the First Prize in 2009 for her short film Baba, about a teenage girl who has to take of her elderly bed-ridden grandmother. Her first feature Caravan is currently in production.
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